An Interview with Ashia Aubourg
Where did you complete your internship and what did your internship entail?
I completed my internship at the High School for Leadership & Public Service in New York City. My role was “Teaching Intern”. This entailed developing a semester long curriculum for senior high school students and teaching the students as well. I focused on teaching the students about policy development, and later on looked at different food policies as case studies with the students.
What did you enjoy most about your experience?
I enjoyed working with the students and giving them empowering tools in the classroom to use within their own lives.
Talk about a challenging or new experience you faced during your internship, how you managed it, and what you learned as a result.
Many of the youth felt disempowered in the class room as a result of years of disappointments from the school system. It was very difficult to build trust with the students at first, I learned to get to know the students and meet them where they were. I wanted the students to feel like they had a voice in the class and that they were not being policed, so I had to tweak many of our classroom policies to make them work better for the students.
How did this internship prepare you to work in the broad field of Food Studies?
I gained many skills as a teacher: curricula development, management skills, communication skills, research etc. I believe that all of these skills are necessary in the broad field of food studies.
What’s next for you?
I am currently the Program Coordinator at Food for Free, a non-profit in Cambridge, MA. The goal is to do more work with youth empowerment and food systems.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I had a great experience with the Food Studies program. It taught me about systems thinking and how to critique that status quo. I hope to take what I have learned in this program to do real work to ameliorate some of the issues within the food system domestically and abroad.